Federal Member for Parkes, Mark Coulton, said Dubbo is currently thriving despite the challenges the Parkes electorate has faced due to COVID-19, and he is looking ahead to 2022 with optimism.
He said the Parkes electorate would continue to help lead Australia's recovery from the pandemic.
"We have more people in work, more apprentices in training and more businesses investing in our region than ever before thanks to Federal Government measures such as JobKeeper, apprentice wage supports and business tax incentives, while the HomeBuilder program is helping more people enter the housing market and creating a boom for the local construction industry," Mr Coulton said.
"Our agricultural and mining sectors remain strong, and with our water storages full, our farmers and miners will be able to continue to invest in and expand their operations.
"The Dubbo region in particular is booming and, as the hub of western NSW, it's only going to continue to thrive."
He said though the region had "jobs aplenty", the labour shortage was one of the biggest issues currently facing our region.
"More work is needed to address this skills shortage, which will be a focus of mine this year," Mr Coulton said.
"We need to better utilise and secure our migrant workforce and boost training opportunities for locals to equip them with the skills needed to fill these jobs. It's also vital that we have the resources needed to attract people to our regions - affordable housing, reliable connectivity, quality education and adequate health services."
Mr Coulton said there had been "great success" in boosting the health services in Dubbo. This includes the completion of the Western Cancer Centre and the first students about to begin their four-year medical degree at the School of Rural Health.
"I look forward to building on that this year," Mr Coulton said. "A key priority for me is to help secure funding for Macquarie Home Stay to expand its accommodation service, which will benefit people right across my electorate."
As Australia heads into the upcoming federal election, this will be Mr Coulton's sixth time running for the seat of Parkes.
"I hope I can continue representing the people of the Parkes electorate and fighting to ensure our communities continue to grow and prosper," he said.
"There's still plenty of work to do in 2022, but I'm confident we can come out the other end even stronger, safer and more secure."